College Football Odds, Picks for East Carolina vs. App State
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Houston (East Carolina)
East Carolina vs. Appalachian State Odds
Following a heartbreaking loss last week, Appalachian State welcomes in-state rival East Carolina to Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday as it looks to get back on track.
The Mountaineers pushed No. 20 North Carolina to the brink for the second straight season before falling in double overtime.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are winless to start the season after losses to No. 2 Michigan and Marshall.
Whenever you pit together schools from the same state, you can get some great battles, and I think this could be a slugfest that results in a low-scoring contest.
Coming into the year, the bet on East Carolina under 5.5 wins was one of my favorite win totals, and I can’t say that I’m disappointed with having that ticket in my pocket.
The Pirates have really struggled on the offensive side of the ball, especially as they try to replace former quarterback Holton Ahlers.
Coach Mike Houston has given both Mason Garcia and Alex Flinn opportunities to claim the starting job. However, neither has done a great job so far, combining to complete just 50% of their passes for only 127.5 yards per game.
Houston also was tasked with replacing a 1,400-yard rusher and a pair of 1,000-yard receivers who combined for 16 touchdown receptions. The Pirates also lost four starters along the offensive line.
If ECU fails to win this game, it would be the first 0-3 start under Houston and the first for the program since the 2017.
Coach Shawn Clark will be hoping his team has the same type of response to losing to UNC as the Mountaineers did a season ago.
After the two-point loss to open the 2022 season, App State rebounded with an upset at then-No. 6 Texas A&M the following week.
Clark will have to depend on his backup quarterback Joey Aguilar to get the job done after starter Ryan Burger injured his finger in the opener.
Aguilar did draw the start against the Tar Heels and has been solid so far this season. Through two games, he's thrown six touchdowns and just one interception for an average of 224.5 yards per game.
If he can continue to complement a strong running game, the Mountaineers should be in the hunt for another Sun Belt Conference title.
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how East Carolina and Appalachian State match up statistically:
East Carolina Offense vs. Appalachian State Defense
Appalachian State Offense vs. East Carolina Defense
Pace of Play / Other
|Special Teams SP+||106||88|
|Seconds per Play||27.3 (74)||25.5 (45)|
|Rush Rate||51.6% (65)||56.5% (30)|
East Carolina vs. Appalachian State
Betting Pick & Prediction
When I look at this game, the unit that I want to continue to fade is the East Carolina offense. So, my best bet is for the Pirates to fall under their team total of 19.5 at DraftKings, which I would play to 17.5.
If you look at the team comparison charts above, you'll see that Houston ranks outside the top 95 in all of the offensive categories. This includes coming into the game at 127th out of 133 teams in Finishing Drives.
Yes, ECU has played two strong defenses in Michigan and Marshall. However, this is no excuse for averaging just 252 total yards and 12.5 first downs per game so far.
This is also the same offense that has only had 4-of-23 (17%) drives go for longer than 50 yards, with two of those coming on the final two drives against the Wolverines’ backups.
The Pirates were able to find the end zone against the Thundering Herd, but it was due to picking up a fumble on the Marshall 3-yard line.
The Mountaineers haven’t been dominant on defense, but this should be a big drop in competition compared to a Drake Maye-led Tar Heels offense.
Until ECU proves to have any sort of passing game, I will continue to find a way to fade the Pirates in every contest.